The Arabian Gulf

Grace O. Vaughan, Noura Al-Mansoori, John A. Burt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

The Arabian/Persian Gulf is a geologically young sea bordered by eight rapidly developing nations. Its marine and coastal systems contain a diverse and interconnected mosaic of biologically and economically important ecosystems including mangrove forests, saltmarshes, seagrass beds and coral reefs, among others, which contain substantially higher diversity than the surrounding arid terrestrial system. Owing to the shallow, restricted nature of the Gulf and its limited freshwater input, the Gulf waters are characterized by extreme thermal variability and high salinity, and as a result, many marine organisms in this region are living near the margins of their physiological limits. Over the past several decades, increasing pressure from rapidly growing coastal populations and from climate change have resulted in widespread degradation and loss of coastal ecosystems in the Gulf. It is projected that population-related pressures will increase in the coming decades as coastal cities continue to grow, and that there will be an increase in the frequency and magnitude of extreme thermal events under climate change. Dramatic management efforts are needed to reduce the cumulative effects of the various stressors affecting these vulnerable habitats if there is to be any hope for maintaining the function of these important and underappreciated ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWorld Seas: an Environmental Evaluation (Second Edition)
EditorsCharles Sheppard
PublisherAcademic Press
Chapter1
Pages1-23
Number of pages23
Volume2
Edition2
ISBN (Electronic)9780081008539
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Arabian Gulf
  • Persian Gulf
  • Persian/Arabian Gulf
  • Environment
  • Marine ecosystems
  • Coastal zone management

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